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Grand Aspen may soon be sold

John Colson

A venture capital firm from Texas is poised to buy the final phase of one of Aspen’s biggest-ever development projects.

WillMax Capital Inc., of Dallas, Texas, has “entered into a contract to purchase the Savanah Ltd. properties in Aspen,” according to a letter recently sent to City Hall.

Attempts to reach the principals of WillMax Capital, who signed the letter, were unsuccessful Tuesday.

But Aspen City Manager Steve Barwick confirmed that WillMax principals Jack Weinsinger and Tom Williams will be meeting with the Aspen City Council next week to talk over their plans for the property.

Savanah spokesman John Sarpa said he could not discuss the deal other than to say the sale is not final at this point.

“I’m sorry I can’t tell you more, but I haven’t been told how much I can say,” he said.

A check with the Secretary of State’s office in Austin, Texas, revealed that WillMax has been an active Texas corporation since Aug. 5, 1983, at its current address in Dallas.

Savanah is the company that has developed the project known as the Aspen Mountain Planned Unit Development, beginning with construction of the former Ritz-Carlton hotel (now the St. Regis).

The final phase of the PUD includes development of the parcel known as the Top of Mill, a bowl at the base of Aspen Mountain, and the redevelopment of the old Grand Aspen Hotel on Dean Street.

Savanah has received conceptual approvals for development of luxury and affordable housing at the Top of Mill, and a moderately priced hotel on the site of the old Grand Aspen, as well as an affordable housing project at the site of the old Bavarian Inn on Seventh Street.


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